Review: IS THAT YOU? Is Missing Something

FIRST IMPRESSION

Is That You? could and should have been much more interesting than it actually is, but the end product is a uniformly disappointing and bland mess.
Writing
Directing
Acting
Technical

As of late, there has been an increase in the number of films that fall into the category of “elevated” or “art house” horror. The new Cuban movie Is That You?, written and directed by Rudy Riverón Sánchez, attempts to re-invent genre tropes, but ultimately falls flat because of its inability to mount constant tension.

The film’s core premise, following a young girl who turns to a spiritual ritual after her father goes missing, is rather interesting. However, this premise is never expanded into anything that is particularly compelling or worthwhile. For most of the movie, we are simply watching mildly disturbing imagery tied together loosely by thin narrative threads.

Because so little that is of legitimate interest happens in the film, it ultimately feels extremely slow for a majority of its runtime. Then, once stuff actually begins to happen, the movie pretty much ends. There are a handful of interesting moments throughout that will grab your attention, but they are so few in number and spread out that it will be easy to tune out of the film.

Perhaps the most disappointing thing about the movie is that it had the potential to offer insightful and interesting commentary on the issue of domestic abuse, a topic which should be an important part of the discussion in this day and age. However, much of the film’s commentary on the topic feels like an afterthought or even a coincidence rather than a focus of the movie.

is that you papa

Another issue with the film is that the characters aren’t particularly compelling, but that is simply because the script doesn’t give them anything to do which could showcase their personality. We as the audience are given no legitimate reason to care about these characters. If anything had been done to make them feel more sympathetic and less distant, the movie could have been significantly better.

The actors do seem like they are legitimately trying to give strong performances, but the script is so flat and emotionless that there is nothing they can do about it. Child actress Gabriela Ramos shows a lot of potential if she is ever given a role to play that is something more than an average and forgettable creepy kid. No one in the supporting cast stands out, either.

On a technical level, the film feels very indulgent and excessive. One of the reasons that the movie feels so slow is that a majority of the film is shot in unflinchingly long takes. Although this, by all means, seems like a conscious decision, it is the wrong one. A slow-burn suspense/horror movie can work quite well if done properly, but when a film feels pretentious like this one does, it is an all-around unpleasant experience.

Is That You? has an interesting premise, but ultimately, lacks the thrills required to be a successful horror movie and is too underdeveloped with its characters to work as a drama. Sadly, this movie has very little to recommend it, even for the genre.

Is That You? is now playing in theaters and hits VOD on August 13.

TRENDING THIS WEEK

Legacies | Season 2 Episode 9 | I Couldn’t Have Done This Without You Scene | The CW

Stream new episodes of Legacies Fridays, free only on The CW App: https://go.cwtv.com/LGCShowyt SUBSCRIBE: http://go.cwtv.com/YTSubscribe About LEGACIES: The show centers around Hope Mikaelson, the vampire-witch-werewolf hybrid daughter of Hayley Marshall-Kenner and Klaus Mikaelson, and her time at a school for the supernatural called The Salvatore School for the Young and Gifted. Connect with LEGACIES online:…

Outlander | Season 5: An Inside Look | STARZ

Get an inside look at what’s to come in Season 5 from the cast and crew. Outlander returns February 16 only on STARZ. #Outlander #STARZ Watch Outlander now on the STARZ App: http://starz.tv/WatchSTARZYT Subscribe now for more Outlander content: http://bit.ly/1kalhP0 Like Outlander on Facebook:http://starz.tv/OutlanderFacebookYT Follow Outlander on Twitter: http://bit.ly/OutlanderTwitterYT Follow Outlander on Instagram: http://starz.tv/OutlanderInstagramYT Outlander…

Troop Zero: Selling Cookies | Prime Video

The ABCs of selling: A - Always B - Be C - Cookies » Watch Troop Zero now exclusively with your Prime membership: http://bit.ly/TroopZeroPrimeVideo » SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/PrimeVideoSubscribe About Troop Zero: In rural 1977 Georgia, a misfit girl dreams of life in outer space. When a national competition offers her a chance at her dream, to…

Transporting and Transforming: Costume Designer Ruth E. Carter on DOLEMITE IS MY NAME | Netflix

Eddie Murphy portrays real-life legend Rudy Ray Moore, a comedy and rap pioneer who proved naysayers wrong when his hilarious, obscene, kung-fu fighting alter ego, Dolemite, became a 1970s Blaxploitation phenomenon. From director Craig Brewer; writers Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski; and the producing team John Davis, John Fox and Murphy. Oscar-winning Costume Designer Ruth…

Charmed | Season 2 Episode 10 | Curse Words Promo | The CW

Stream new episodes of Charmed Saturdays, free only on The CW App: http://go.cwtv.com/Charmedyt SUBSCRIBE: http://go.cwtv.com/Charmedyt About Charmed: After the tragic death of their mother, three sisters in a college town are stunned to discover they are witches. Soon this powerful threesome must stand together to fight the everyday and supernatural battles that all modern witches…

Legacies | Season 2 Episode 10 | This Is Why We Don’t Entrust Plans to Muppet Babies Promo | The CW

Stream new episodes of Legacies Fridays, free only on The CW App: https://go.cwtv.com/LGCShowyt SUBSCRIBE: http://go.cwtv.com/YTSubscribe About LEGACIES: The show centers around Hope Mikaelson, the vampire-witch-werewolf hybrid daughter of Hayley Marshall-Kenner and Klaus Mikaelson, and her time at a school for the supernatural called The Salvatore School for the Young and Gifted. Connect with LEGACIES online:…

Like A Boss | Movie Review

Ashley reviews Like A Boss. Mia and Mel (Tiffany Haddish and Rose Byrne), two best friends who run a cosmetics company, are in over their heads financially. So the prospect of a big buyout offer from a notorious titan of the cosmetics industry Claire Luna (Salma Hayek) proves too tempting to pass up. Directed by:…

The Outsider: Jason Bateman – Bringing the Series to Life Featurette | HBO

Director and Executive Producer Jason Bateman discusses his approach to adapting the bestselling Stephen King novel, The Outsider. #HBO #TheOutsiderHBO Subscribe to HBO on YouTube: https://goo.gl/wtFYd7 The 10-episode series follows police detective Ralph Anderson (Ben Mendelsohn), as he sets out to investigate the mutilated body of 11-year-old Frankie Peterson found in the Georgia woods. The…
Avatar
Sean Boelman
Sean is a film student, aspiring filmmaker, and life-long cinephile. For as long as he can remember, he has always loved film, but he credits the film Pan's Labyrinth as having started his love of film as art. Sean enjoys watching many types of films, although some personal favorite genres include dramatic comedies, romantic comedies, heist films, and art horror.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here